Malala Yousafzai urges US to take action to get Afghan girls back to school
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai on Monday urged the United States to take action to help Afghan girls return to class after the Taliban takeover during a meeting with Foreign Minister Antony Blinken.
Malala, 24, who was shot in the head by a Pakistani Taliban assassin nine years ago but survived, said she had come to talk about “equality in education.”
“But we know that Afghanistan is currently the only country where girls do not have access to secondary education,” she said.
“They are not allowed to learn, and I have worked with Afghan girls and women’s activists, and there is one message from them: that they should be given the right to work.
“They should be able to go to school.”
Activists have repeatedly sounded the alarm about a sharp erosion of rights since the Taliban took control of the country in mid-August when US troops left.
Education campaigner Malala Yousafzai urged the US to do more to help girls go back to school in Afghanistan when she met Foreign Minister Antony Blinken on Monday
Taliban gunmen spotted in Kabul, where the Islamist movement has been in power since August. They have not allowed girls in grades 7-12 to go back to school
On Friday, the Islamist group issued a “special decree” outlining the rights of women under their rule.
‘A woman is not a possession, but a noble and free man; no one can give her to anyone in exchange for a peace deal or to end the animosity,” it reads.
But it made no mention of getting an education or a job.
Although the Taliban has allowed younger girls to go back to school, they say groups 7-12 will not be allowed to return until classes are taught in an “Islamic manner.”
They say that special transport is needed to take them to school and that they cannot be taught by male teachers.
Women are also barred from government jobs.
Before the meeting at the US State Department, Malala read from a letter to President Joe Biden from a 15-year-old Afghan girl named Sotodah.
“And she writes that the longer schools and universities remain closed to girls, the more hopes for our future stage will be harmed,” she said.
‘Girls’ education’ is a powerful tool to bring peace and security. If girls don’t learn, Afghanistan will suffer too.
“As a girl and as a person, I want you to know that I have rights. Women and girls have rights.
‘Afghans have the right to live in peace, go to school and play.’
The Biden administration is in a dilemma. After leaving Afghanistan this year, it must see how it can continue to deliver aid to an impoverished country while keeping the Taliban at bay.
Aid organizations warn of hunger as a bitter winter approaches.
Malala announced that she married Pakistani cricket manager Asser Malik in an intimate ceremony at her Birmingham home last month.
For his part, Blinken said he was looking forward to hearing Malala’s ideas.
“As I think many, many people know, Malala is really an inspiration – an inspiration to us, an inspiration to girls and women around the world – but not just an inspiration; someone who is making a real difference through her work, through her efforts, especially when it comes to access to education for girls and women, which is also a critical issue for President Biden and the United States,” he said.
Malala was a teenage education activist when the Pakistani Taliban hunted her.
They stopped her school bus and shot her in the face.
She survived and won the Nobel Peace Prize two years later.
Last month, Malala stunned her legions of supporters around the world when she announced that she had married Pakistani cricket manager Asser Malik, 31, at her home in Birmingham.
But instead of going on a honeymoon, the couple decided to spend their first few days of marriage on the couch and watching cricket.